Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Controlling for height, Asian women are still the lightest by far: Continuing the topic of fatness, I thought a close look at how much women weigh would anger any feminists passing through, so I decided I had to do it. I looked at the National Health Interview Survey to calculate the mean weight of American women by ethnic group. Here's what I got:

Women's mean weight (without shoes):

Black 160.0
American Indian 150.3
White 143.4
Hispanic 143.1
Asian 122.3

Not surprisingly, the Black mean is a lot higher and the Asian mean a lot lower than the others, but this is an unfair comparison because of height differences. So what do the means look like if we focus on the modal height--5'4"?

Black 156.9
American Indian 149.7
Hispanic 142.6
White 141.7
Asian 125.3

A thirty pound difference between blacks and Asians, but again this is not really fair because of frame differences.

I also wanted to look at the age curve of women's weight:

age 18, 134
age 22, 137
age 26, 140
age 30, 143
age 37, 147
age 43, 150
age 51, 153
age 57, 156

From age 18 to 30, it only takes 4 years of aging to add an average of 3 pounds. So the 20s are the real weight gaining years, some of it due, I'm sure, to pregnancy.

After 30 the weight gain slows: it takes around 7 years to gain an additional three pounds until the peak weight of 156 is reached at age 57. After this age, the weight declines gradually and by age 82, women have fallen to the same weight they had at age 18. Some of this reduction is due to the higher mortality rates of obese women.

1 comment:

The Subversive said...

If corporate advertising, with its preference for thin white women, shape reality, then how is it that Asian women are the thinnest ones?

Is "Corporate America" really just a mask for serving the interests of Asian women?